So Far HR Did Just Fine Without Social Media

by Etienne Besson on 2 February 2012

in #TruGeneva,My musings

Everybody and their grandmother is talking about social media. So far HR did just fine without it. So why fix it if it ain’t broken?

The Menu For Today’s Blog Post

First I’ll try to find reasons why HR can safely ignore social media. Then I’ll present examples of other technological advances that seemed quite unnecessary at the time.

But since I’m a big fan of social media, you can already guess the conclusion…

Why You Can Ignore Social Media

Here are a few common opinions (misconceptions?) about social media:

  • it takes a lot of time, but I’d rather take care of business instead
  • it’s fun, but that’s why I have a Facebook account for friends and family
  • where are the proven results? My boss wants to know about ROI

In The Past…

In the last 20 years we were confronted with many technological changes. Some of them seemed (over-)hyped at first, but radically changed our lives in the end.

Who Needs Job Boards?

10-15 years ago many HR professionals thought that job boards were just a fad. Why put job ads online if

  • job ads in newspapers worked just fine and
  • most potential candidates didn’t have access to the Internet anyway?

But the last time I checked many job boards in Switzerland had hundreds if not thousands of open positions while the weekly jobs section in newspapers is becoming alarmingly thin.

A Company Website: Seriously?

I remember when the World Wide Web was in its infancy and a few businesses even had their own website. Of course these were mostly tech companies. Because “programming” something in HTML was very expensive and there was no way they would ever make any money from it.

Today I admit that I don’t trust a company that doesn’t have its own website.

Email For All Employees

I remember working for a company that had one single email address. Nobody thought of giving an individual email address to each employee. Besides, most business transactions were (successfully) conducted via phone, snail mail and fax.

Back then nobody expected this to ever change. After all, it was working just fine.

So What?

  • Must every company use social media right now? No!
  • Must every HR professional become a social media expert? No!

But I strongly believe that social media has already changed our lives and that it’s here to stay.

So the question for HR professionals is:

  • Do we want to (once again) sit out new developments or are we ready to get involved early on, explore, experiment and take risks?
  • And also position ourselves in a way that we can influence not only the future of HR Management, but also contribute to the success of our businesses (which, I believe, is part of why we’re getting paid)?

Where Do We Go From Here?

Like I said I believe that social media is here to stay. If I’m right then these new communication channels will become an important part of our (business) lives.

So my suggestions are:

  • Learn what social media is really about
  • Keep an open mind
  • Build your own opinion

And if you want to talk about these things, then join us on the 4th of May 2012 for #TruGeneva 😉

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